Welcome to our blog. Staff at the Tenants' Union and occasional guests offer their commentary and analysis of our renting system. We hope to inform, educate and debate the legal, political and cultural aspects of this renting life. If you would like an official quote for media use, or have questions regarding official research, policy or publications please contact us. For more news see also our general news page and for factsheets and sample letters see Tenancy info.


Getting your rented home bushfire ready

2019-12-19
house
Guest blogger Hayley Stone, co-ordinator of the Eastern Area Tenants' Service and volunteer with the Rural Fire Service in the Blue Mountains, gives us some general guidance on getting your rental property prepared for bushfires.
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Antisocial antisocial behaviour management

2019-11-29
hoodie reading 'anti anti social club'
Last Friday we made our submission to the statutory review of two sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 that require mandatory eviction in social housing for a number of antisocial behaviours, and short eviction times for all social housing tenants.
We recommend a shift in approach. If you want to 'create better, safer communities' scrap the strikes and start investing in communities with a real increase in the resourcing of community based supports and programs that build connection, resilience and capacity for individuals and their communities.
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Balancing tenure security and mobility for productivity

2019-11-27
Google earth image of Sydney including public housing, private housing and commercial buildings
Yesterday we submitted our thoughts in response to the NSW Productivity Commission discussion paper "Kickstarting the productivity conversation". We recommended a shift to land tax, for a more reliable property tax system that encourages better land use, and exploration of a different way to encourage meaningful supply with positive outcomes.
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NSW changes to tenancy law - progress update

2019-11-20
Australia on a globe
There have been a number of developments in tenancy across Australia recently, and NSW is coming close to implementation of the amendments from 2018. Before we look at the update to NSW, here's the latest from around Australia and New Zealand.
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What you need to know about: Bond Loans

2019-11-01
A computer, a phone and a pad of paper
You've found a new place to move to after getting a no grounds notice and you're pretty confident that you'll get your bond back on the current place. But you've been stung by unfounded claims from agents before and you're a bit short on cash since knocking back a couple of shifts to go to inspections. You can't hit up Mum and Dad again to spot you again so soon - and you saw advertisements for bond loans on a few of the ads. Are they a good idea?
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Looking to rent a home? 6 things that will help or hinder you

2019-10-08
Two women talking. One is a real estate agent, the other is a prospective tenant.
Two-thirds of tenants in Australia rent through a real estate agent. A national shortage of private rental housing forces these tenants to impress the real estate agent to secure a property. The ability to make a good impression on the agent, however, is largely based on a variety of factors that place some tenants at a disadvantage.
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No Bang for your Bond!

2019-08-29
Tenant Advocates at the Network Meeting
This is the initial response from Tenants' Union of NSW, resourcing body for 19 NSW-based Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Services, to the release of funding agreements from 2019-2022 for NSW Government funding for the Tenants Advice and Advocacy Program. We welcome the continued funding of tenancy services. Renters in NSW need and appreciate the services they receive from TAASs. However, we estimate 1 in 3 seeking assistance are missing out. It makes no sense that funding isn’t increased when we know there is interest available from renters' own money in the Rental Bond Board and Property Services account.
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No homes on a dead planet

2019-08-22
Desert for lease
The evidence has been in for some time that our climate is changing. As the Tenants' Union of NSW this concerns us because we know that renters live in housing that is the least suitable for a changing climate and with weak rights to make changes. We believe all people deserve safe, stable homes to live in and this aim only becomes harder to achieve the longer we wait to start. So what can we do?
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Renting art across Sydney

2019-07-30
Edge poster
Art reflecting and questioning housing is currently on display across Sydney. One of the artists, Emily Valentine, comments, "In our real estate centric society, photographs of houses – empty, clean, white, and devoid of people bombard us. These images build a fantasy of the perfect state of houses, but also as homes as vacant spaces. This is abnormal."
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Chilly house? Mouldy rooms? Here's how to improve low-income renters’ access to decent housing

2019-06-05
Streetscape
People’s quality of life, their health and their comfort can suffer when living in poor-quality housing. It can also impose high ongoing costs of maintenance, repairs, heating and cooling. And these problems are more likely to affect low-income households, as our report for Shelter NSW shows. In it, we review the evidence on housing quality problems and consider ways to resolve these, especially for low-income households. There is extensive evidence of the impacts of poor-quality housing on physical health, mental wellbeing and comfort.
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